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The first settlers arrived in the area around 1670. The town was founded in 1790 and named after Ignace Bourget, a Jesuit missionary who came to evangelize the local First Nations people. In 1845, it became an incorporated municipality with its own mayor and councilmen. It is also home to one of Quebec's oldest churches: Saint-Ignace Church built in 1846 by Father Joseph-Octave Plessis (1813–1879). In addition to agriculture, Cap-Saint-Ignace has developed several tourist activities such as camping sites on both shores of the St Lawrence River at Pointe du Petit Cap or La Grande Côte where visitors can enjoy fishing for salmon or trout during springtime from May until June when they migrate upriver towards their spawning grounds upstream from Trois Pistoles.